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site maintenance

about 4:20 pm….everything should be working and I have two sidebars. something’s don’t make sense but I’ll live with it until later.

site maintenance – I’m stuck

If you are one of the two people who may read this blog, please be patient. I seem to be stuck finding the solution to puting the right sidebar back in its place. If you can help PLEASE do so. Otherwise, I think you can read all the previous posts and we will have to live with this awkward arrangement until I find a solution or give up. Pity, I had a great post to make, heh.

site maintenance

It is probably apparent that I’m working on the site since the right sidebar has disappeared. I paid for the upgrade to configure my own CSS so I’m going to give it my best shot.

It’s about 10:25 my time.

Done

I’m through mutilating the blog design and have returned it to exactly as ti was.

site maintenance

It is 11:45 am central time. I will be redoing sections of the blog until further notice. Some pages may not load.

Skillful Means and Reverse Graffiti

Pollution has left its mark in every city in the world. We may not see it, but it’s there. For example the tunnel you may drive through on your way to work may appear to have gray walls. But they’re actually white underneath the grime.

I love the idea of creating works of art by removing. Not sculpture so much, tho it is included, but drawing by erasing, making crop circles (without destroying another’s property), painting by wiping (at least in watercolor) and such.

Would it not be called skillful means if one man were able to create works of art by REMOVING some dirt from a wall? And would it not then be skillful means if this artwork stimulated others to then clean the ENTIRE tunne mentioned above?. By extension, how much of a city could be cleaned up by using this method?

Well I’m not going to argue about it. Perhaps my understanding of “skillful means” is lacking, but if you don’t consider this anything but cool and positive then, well, you….well. It just is.

Look at all the works of Reverse Graffiti, but especially Alexandre Orion’s. Please read Alexandre’s story as well as the others.

Orion's skulls

From Digg

Just let go

I find myself feeling tired of thinking these days. I know on both intellectual and experiential levels that no-thought is available at any time. I can stop thinking. No I don’t mean “blank my mind”. With leting go of thinking I am “happy”. Not the bubbly, jumping around kind of Snoopy happiness, but the life flowing through me and losing myself in doing and being (do-be-do-be-dooo….couldnt’ resist) kind of happiness.

I swear I used to be able to do it. I kind of did it all the time. I don’t consider myself enlightened, whatever that is, except perhaps in the sense of Dogen’s “Zazen itself is enlightenment” – and when I say all the time, I mean it was a habit gained from Zazen – as far as I can tell. It seemed like a change in view point, much like the directions for happiness that follow here:

You strive, struggle and fight to get things that you think will make you happy. And all the while, happiness is already yours to choose without the things, without the struggle, without the fight.

You place limits and conditions on your happiness, and tie it to things that do not last. And all the while, happiness is already yours to choose without the limits, without the conditions.

When happiness is conditional and dependent, it ceases to be happiness and becomes merely another chore, another thing to struggle for, another thing to lose. True and lasting happiness is not a result but is a cause.

Let the happiness you seek flow out from you, rather than trying in vain to get it flowing into you. Let the world around you be an expression of your happiness, instead of depending on it to provide you with happiness.

Do you want to be happy? Then know that nothing is stopping you other than the limits and conditions you place on that happiness. Let joy and happiness flow out from you. And the rest of your world will soon follow along.

— Ralph Marston

If You Hate A Person.

From Digg

Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game which explore an individual’s search for spirituality outside society.herman hesse

Can blogs be Buddhist?

I found this post on One foot in front of the other, a “Buddhist” blog authored by Michael, a New Jersey newspaper man (10 times fast :)). You can find the quoted post here.

While reading this, a few thoughts started circling, trying to land. Is my blog a product of my own unbridled ego? Do I just need to be heard above the din? Is this really a “Buddhist blog” or is it more about me craving to be recognized as a Zen Buddhist? Ouch.

Well…probably that and more. But here’s Michael’s post for you to read and I encourage you to read more of his writing. In case you read this, Michael, I am NOT a newspaperman – I’m just a bubba down in Texas trying to put some words together.

But please read on, I’ll address those buzzing thoughts in another post.

Warning: Buddhist blog

I’ve come to hate the designations “Buddhist blog” and “Zen blog.”
What makes a blog Buddhist, Zen or non-denominational, anyway?
I subscribe to several blogs linked to Zen or Buddhism either through self-description or by inclusion in “roundup blogs” that post weekly or monthly synopses of blogs deemed Zen or Buddhist in nature.
On some of these blogs, all that’s done is a lot of bickering over what’s perceived as good or bad in terms of personal practice, teachings, what he said or she said and so on.
Fine. People bicker.
If I don’t like it, I tune out.
If I like it, I keep reading.
I can be awfully argumentative and judgmental myself.
Some of the bickering on these blogs seems to come from the heart of whomever is trying to make the point.
But a lot of it seems to come, in my opinion, from unbridled ego, a need to be heard above the din (sometimes just for the sake of being heard), Read more…

Zazen is a sacred activity

From Albert Kaba’s group, Dharma for today

When a person sits and meditates, it is a special situation; it is a sacred act of some kind. It has been said by Petrul Rinpoche, a great teacher about 100 years ago, that even if you have impure thoughts in the meditation hall, those thoughts are regarded as sacred thoughts. The most impure, most crude or confused thoughts, even those are regarded as sacred thoughts. Along with that, a sense of appreciating the discipline is in itself important, whether you have accomplished the discipline over all or not. If you fall asleep on your cushion, or feel that you haven’t actually sat and meditated at all — as soon as you sit on your cushion, you begin to mentally venture out all over the world, and the only thing that reminds you is when the ending gong sounds and you realize you are meditating, supposedly, physically — even then, even such daydreams and things like that are important. Meditation is a sacred activity.

Chogyam Trungpa, from “The First Foundation: Mindfulness of Body,” in the 1973 Hinayana-Mahayana Transcripts, page 39.

When I sit, the thoughts come. Many of them are irrelevant to Buddhism, many are about things I need to do today and many are sexual in nature. I don’t ask for them to come, but of course I don’t try to push them out. I try to do my “job” and just let them float on by. I also believe that, zince zazen itself is a sacred act, anything that occurs within Zazen must also be sacred. Couldn’t this be extended beyond zazen as well?